By Mariana Llanos
Illustrated by Kate Gattey
The Staircase on Pine Street is a story that will touch your heart with its tenderness, humor, sensitivity and page-turning narrative. Mariana Llanos has once again, crafted a beautiful story of family love to share with readers of all ages. Ten-year-old Lilly has to learn to live with her grandfather’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Lilly and Grandpa Leo have a close, loving bond but ever since he’s been diagnosed, things have drastically changed. Alzheimer’s is taking away her grandpa’s memory. Lilly feels that there is nothing she can do to help. Until one day, Grandpa Leo gives Lilly an important assignment: to find a long-forgotten treasure. Lilly— with the help of her best friend, Mei Ling— goes on an exciting quest where she discovers more than she could have ever imagine.
To read the first chapter, click on this link: https://scribblesonthewallblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/the-staircase-on-pine-street-chapter-1/
Ten-year-old Lilly’s grandfather has Alzheimer’s disease. He is moving to an apartment in an assisted living facility where he can get help every day. Lilly is excited that it has a playground and she and Grandpa Leo can go to when she visits. She doesn’t understand what Alzheimer’s is, but her mother helps her understand the stages of the disease as her grandpa goes through them. Lilly realizes that her grandpa no longer remembers everything, and some days he doesn’t seem to know who she is. Then one day her grandpa gives her a mission – she is to search for a forgotten treasure.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be scary for young children, but Mariana Llanos has woven a beautiful story that explains the disease in a way that young children can understand. I recommend parents read the forward before reading the book to their children. In this short piece about Alzheimer’s disease, the author describes what Alzheimer’s is, tells how to get more information, and makes suggestions to help families to create awareness of this devastating disease.
I recommend this upper elementary school age child, whether or not they have a family member who has Alzheimer’s disease.
About the Author
Mariana Llanos is a Peruvian-born writer based in Oklahoma. Mariana has written short stories since she was a young girl. Hoping to give a voice to the many characters that lived in her head, she studied Drama with the prestigious company Cuatrotablas, based in Lima. After moving to Oklahoma, Mariana has worked as a preschool teacher, standing out for her creativity and passion for arts education. She has published five children’s books whose themes revolve around family love and acceptance. Mariana visits schools around the world through virtual technology to inspire a life-long passion for reading and writing. Books by Mariana Llanos:
Tristan Wolf, A Planet for Tristan Wolf, the Wanting Monster, The Staircase on Pine Street, No Birthday for Mara. Available in Spanish: El Monstruo Quierelotodo, Mara sin Cumpleaños, Tristán Lobo.
Type of Book – Paperback
Publisher – Mariana Llanos
Pub Date – July 20th 2014
Genre – Children’s, Middle Grade chapter Book
To learn more about Mariana Llanos and her books
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